If I'm honest, I was a little nervous to create and send out a reader survey. I mean, what would happen if no one responded? I promised to share the results. It sure wouldn't be amazing to say, "uh, well, I can't give you exact statistics..." But because I'd heard about how valuable a tool a reader survey can be, I took a leap, posted the survey, and asked my readers to fill it out.
And guess what? My readers are the best. You were eager to answer my questions and give me feedback. While I was pretty sure I knew how some of the questions would be answered, there were some good surprises for me as well.
For example, you all are, on average, a little older than I would have guessed. That really makes sense, though, since the longer we live the higher the likelihood that we'll experience some hardship along the way. (That also makes me a bit nervous, too, since I greatly look up to those who have more life experience than I do!)
So, here are the results from the 2016 Hallway Initiative Reader Survey! I'm a total numbers nerd, so this stuff totally made me smile. (Note: many of the questions could have more than one response, so if you see percentages that tally more than 100%, it's because some readers chose to put down more than one response. I just didn't want anyone to be confused!)
What is your preferred faith?
Not surprisingly, 100% of the survey participants are Christians.
What is your age group?
This is where I was a little off in my guessing. Just 27% are in my age group (18-34, though in January I'll bump up into the next age bracket). 36% are between the ages of 35 and 49, and 18% are 50 or over. I never really expected ladies older than me would want to read my posts, and I'm so honored that you do!
What is your marital status?
90% are married, and 10% are single.
How many children do you have?
36% of readers have between 1 and 3 kids; 54% have 4 or more.
If you have kids, do you homeschool?
54% of those with children homeschool; 27% do not; and 18% either do not have kids or have grown children.
What kind of hardships have you faced?
This was one of the most helpful questions on the survey. 36% of you mentioned financial hardship; 27% have struggled with job loss; 36% are dealing with illness; 27% are or have been battling depression; 18% have struggled through the loss of a close family member or friend; and 27% mentioned other hardships such as special needs children, struggle with sin, or loss of a relationship.
Ladies, my heart goes out to you all. Not all of my own struggles have been identical to yours, but I can relate to the brokenness of this world, to pain and hardship, and the stress that comes along with our Earthly trials.
Reading through your answers has reminded me over and over again how much we need a Savior and what great hope Heaven offers us! Even if it isn't going to be okay here in this life, Eternity spent with Christ will wipe away all of our tears.
Along those lines, I am always eager to have guest posters on the blog share what the Lord is teaching you through your hallways. If any of you would like to write a post for me (and you don't have to have a blog of your own to do so, or even be good at writing!), don't hesitate to let me know. You can fill out the contact form here on the blog, or you can email me at julie (at) hallwayinitiative (dot) com!
What are your two favorite types of posts on the Hallway Initiative?
The responses to this question were super helpful for me as I plan out my blogging year for 2017! A full 72% of you favor my faith and encouragement posts (this is great news, since that's the heartbeat of the hallway!); 36% enjoy posts about family; and healthy living, homeschooling, and homemaking posts all came in about equal, at around 25%, with homemaking's percentage being just slightly lower than homeschooling and healthy living.
I've been contemplating not writing much more about homemaking, not because I don't enjoy the topic, but because there are many other, more skilled bloggers who cover the topics much better. About all I can do is offer sympathy to those of you who struggle with it as much as I do!
What type of information or promotions would you like to see on the Hallway Initiative?
Again, the vast majority would like info and promos on faith and encouragement. I've been wanting to do a giveaway on the blog, so I'll look for something in this area (I might need to ask my other faith blogger friends what they recommend!). And again, healthy living, homemaking, and homeschooling all came in about tied for second interests, with blogging info a distant third.
With this information in mind, I won't hesitate to let you all know about info and deals that I find in each of these areas. Just know that if I recommend something that either doesn't fit your interest or your budget, it won't bother me at all! There is a wealth of information available today. The problem anymore isn't lack of information; it's information overload. I won't constantly send things your way, but if I think something is truly worth noting, I'll be sure to mention it!
What is your single favorite post from the blog?
Here is a partial list:
- Are You Waiting Well?
- Does God Carry Your Suitcase?
- When God Chooses Not to Heal
- When It Isn't Going to Be Okay
- When Your Mama Heart Hurts (this one's my all-time favorite, too!)
What 1 thing would you like to see added to/changed/improved on The Hallway Initiative blog?
Some of the suggestions: better social media interaction, better images, a day-in-the-life type post
Oh, yes, social media and image creation, my nemesis and Achilles heel! But those suggestions are right on target. I definitely need to improve on those, and both are in my list of goals for 2017. I don't think I'll get better over night, but I hope that, with some effort, I will get better. And as I've always enjoyed day-in-the-life posts from other bloggers, I might get brave and try one.
I am so, so glad I took a risk and made the survey. It was extremely helpful. I am so thankful that you all were willing to give me your thoughts!